USB WiFi external antenna

usb wifi antenna

[ronobvious] purchased a Ralink based USB WiFi adapter for use with Aircrack-ng. It worked well so he decided to add an external antenna connector. The connector from Linx Technologies that he chose is really what makes this installation clean. It’s a card-edge design so you just slip it over the end and solder the pin and ground leg. He’s got a link to Tobias Hain’s similar mod and Tobias has a link to a another antenna project as well.

Comments

  1. Craig says:

    I could do with this. I have a ‘B’ standard Centrino lappie and am finding it a bit slow, with all the other computers on the network being ‘G’. So I could get a USB adaptor and do this mod, and get a good signal, with it being out of sight around the back. I can’t stand those PCMCIA cards which stick out so much and constantly flash.

  2. andrew says:

    nice hack. there are so many external antenna modifications for wifi adaptors, you’d think the mfg’s would catch on by now. must be against fcc regulations…

  3. Does anyone have a link to the bluetooth antenna mod? I’ve bene looking ofr it but no one has it anymore.
    Thank you.

  4. strider_mt2k says:

    Well done!
    That looks (and I’m sure works) very nice!

  5. This is L says:

    I was thinking of posting a hack similar to this for the USB netgear WG111v2 which has heat issues and could use a signal boost. I stripped off the bulky silver case on mine, coated the bottom with tough epoxy (to protect the components) added a thin, conforming to-220 transistor heatsink (1.5mm profile with bent steel “wings”) to the large hot chip on top and stitched on a panel antenna via inverted U. FL connector (the connector on the device is a female hirose/ U. FL , which is strange since most cards use male type connectors. I overcame this problem by sticking a small slice of a pin in the center of the pigtail. Unfortunately, the ~30ma output power is pathetic. The epoxy and heatsink modifications will extend the life of any usb wifi adaptor, since heat and corrosion can only lead to entropic demise. The best part is, since the profile has been minimized, I can now fit devices in any adjacent usb ports. To attach the heatsink, use thermal epoxy throughout or a combination of thermal paste and regular epoxy (not necessarily mixed together). Do not put epoxy directly on the leads of any complicated looking ICs (ie, +28 tiny pins), since the tiny pF capacitance inherent in most epoxies can affect chip operation (this is not a concern for most chips, don’t worry about it).

  6. This is L says:

    I was thinking of posting a hack similar to this for the USB netgear WG111v2 which has heat issues and could use a signal boost. I stripped off the bulky silver case on mine, coated the bottom with tough epoxy (to protect the components) added a thin, conforming to-220 transistor heatsink (1.5mm profile with bent steel “wings”) to the large hot chip on top and stitched on a panel antenna via inverted U. FL connector (the connector on the device is a female hirose/ U. FL , which is strange since most cards use male type connectors. I overcame this problem by sticking a small slice of a pin in the center of the pigtail. Unfortunately, the ~30ma output power is pathetic. The epoxy and heatsink modifications will extend the life of any usb wifi adaptor, since heat and corrosion can only lead to entropic demise. The best part is, since the profile has been minimized, I can now fit devices in any adjacent usb ports. To attach the heatsink, use thermal epoxy throughout or a combination of thermal paste and regular epoxy (not necessarily mixed together). Do not put epoxy directly on the leads of any complicated looking ICs (ie, +28 tiny pins), since the tiny pF capacitance inherent in most epoxies can affect chip operation (this is not a concern for most chips, don’t worry about it).

  7. giskard says:

    #2 IIRC any antenna/transmitter combination must be individualy approved by the fcc (that’s why cards have so many wird and wondefull types of conectors. it’s a question of why the manufacturers would bother getting antennas aproved

  8. Liam Parry says:

    #5, I have a Netgear WG111T as well; I’m using it this moment. In fact, we have three of them here. I must admit that it’s always been very good to me, the signal with all three is much, much stronger than comperable USB/cardbus designs I’ve seen. Post up your article, though -I’d love to see it. There’s no such thing as reception that’s “too good” lol, and it sounds like you’ve put in a lot of work

  9. This is L says:

    I will not post an article, because it is too simple to be a mod, but here are photographs:

    By the way, I meant 30mW, not 30mA. That’s what insomnia’s all about.

  10. ronObvious says:

    @ This is L – I like the heatsink approach, and I considered adding them to cool down the ralink chips in several of my USB adapters. The buggers run way hot and it makes me wonder what the lifespan will be like if I don’t take steps to cool it, but in all likelyhood it will last until it 802.11n hits the shelves ;)

  11. Ds-flash says:

    will have to try this with Nintendo ds. sometimes its wifi reception is weaker than PC so could come in handy.

  12. I’m sorry, I don’t understand what exactly this does, helps, improves, or maintains. :
    Other then hiding the lights.

    I have a Desktop only, I’m assuming this is useless for PCI wifi cards with Male RP-SMA antennas, and female RP-SMA cards.

    Can anyone help me out? Perhaps a link?

    Scarslilpyro on xfire stat_padder@yahoo.com if anyone can give me some info, thanks.

  13. JOSE V. says:

    hi I WAS WONDERING IF ANY HAVE DONE THE EXTERNAL ANTENA TO A CNET CWD- 845 USB CARD THE BOARD CIRCUIT IS ALMOS THE SAME CHIPS ARE BUT THE WELDING PART IS DIFFERENT, THANKS.

  14. I like this antenna and would suggest it to anybody in need of an antenna. Yagiwifiantenna.blogspot.com

  15. gh0st says:

    I figured out a WAY easier way to do this.
    Simply purchase a SMA to mini-pci-wifiant
    Wire. run this wire under/over mobo or thru
    wiring mech of laptop, grind kens lock hole
    to iD(hole)=oD(smaconn) and nut conn
    to hole. did this on my dell mini 9

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